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La Casa De Las Madres

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Crime & Law, Domestic Violence, Family Violence Shelters, Homeless & Housing, Spouse Abuse Prevention, Unknown

Mission: The mission of La Casa de las Madres is to respond to calls for help from domestic violence victims, of all ages, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. We give survivors the tools to transform their lives. We seek to prevent future violence by educating the community and by redefining public perceptions about domestic violence.

Results: Our success is two-tiered. Each time a contact is made, educational presentation given, the crisis line rings or someone requests counseling we are successful. There are many choices to be made by a person seeking to address or escape violence in his or her life. Each step is invaluable in what is usually an incremental move toward safety. We measure this impact by tracking services and participants. In FY 2009-10, La Casa de las Madres’ services were utilized as follows: • 4,295 callers received crisis counseling, resources and referrals through our statewide, toll-free Adult and Teen Crisis Lines; • 893 domestic violence victims accepted Domestic Violence Response Team crisis or follow-up assistance; -Among them, 136 accessed DVRT legal assistance in pursuing a restraining order; • 219 women and 206 children received emergency shelter and support services; • 474 women and families received practical and emotional support through the Drop-In Counseling Center; -Among them, 46 families received specific assistance with custody and visitation; • 212 adolescents participated in individual and group activities of the Teen Program; • the MEI Case Management Program provided housing stability, community-building and emotional support services to 177 residents of the Mary Elizabeth Inn and Verona Hotel; • the Safe Housing Project worked with staff and residents of 75 Bay Area supportive housing sites and provided direct intervention to resident women and families; and • 430 community education and outreach activities educating 7,907 teens and adults and reaching more than 49,000 community members were undertaken. We also strive to offer services wherein victims can immediately access needed support, be safe, and build a stable foundation from which to start or continue an independent life free from abuse. So we are successful when we have provided a timely, relevant response; alleviated crisis; and facilitated improved quality of life through an increased sense of safety, prevention of homelessness, and encouragement of thriving. To determine if we are reaching milestones and benchmarks specific to each program, we solicit feedback in periodic surveys and exit interviews about experiences with services, what has worked or is not working. A sample of results include: 94% of women exited emergency shelter with an increased sense of self-efficacy, and were better able to identify the warning signs of a dangerous relationship. Among adult Drop In Center participants, 92% felt better able to advocate for themselves and/or their children’s needs in the community. Among moms engaging in clinical child-focused trauma interventions at the drop in center 84% reported their children exhibited more positive attachment and/or improved behavior. Finally, among teen educational session participants, 91% agreed that, in a relationship, everyone is responsible for their own behavior; and 2% requested individualized follow up services.

Target demographics: Domestic violence is a crime that affects all members of society regardless of race, culture, economic class, educational background, age, sexual orientation or physical ability. Accordingly, La Casa’s services are available to all domestic violence victims and survivors. To facilitate access, we also actively strive to reach underserved and vulnerable groups including women of color, low income families, young mothers, youth aging out of foster care, immigrants, monolingual non-English speakers (particularly Spanish), LGBTQQI, the geographically isolated, and women with disabilities.

Direct beneficiaries per year: 14,386

Geographic areas served: Women, children and Teens in the bay area

Programs: Domestic violence victims must be able to access safety as well as services supporting their transition to a violence free life. La Casa provides that bridge for battered women, teens and children seeking to escape abuse in their intimate partnerships. Our comprehensive services are multilingual, with specific English/Spanish capacity, and completely free of charge. Our expert intervention and prevention services reach more than 50,000 community members each year. Calling a crisis line is often the first step for a victim of domestic violence to reach out for help. Through our two (2) 24-hour Crisis Phone Lines we are able to provide callers with statewide, toll-free support, crisis counseling and information about community resources and services. La Casa Family Advocates are also on-site with the San Francisco Police Department's Domestic Violence Response Unit, at what is often the first point of access for domestic violence victims. Through the Domestic Violence Response Team, our Advocates accompany officers in responding to crime scene calls, follow up on police and medical reports indicating violent crimes against women, and assist medical personnel responding to abuse. Advocates provide crisis intervention and help professionals to identify victims’ needs, encourage victims’ safety and facilitate their access to services. Skilled legal service coordination also ensures victims’ civil legal needs, like restraining orders, receive immediate attention. La Casa also has the capacity to shelter and provide comprehensive advocacy and support services to 35 women and children per night. Our 8-week Emergency Shelter Program emphasizes independent living skills and individual counseling, support groups and vocational/educational referrals to reverse the isolation caused by domestic violence. Family Advocates assist each woman and her children with counseling, referrals, court and social service accompaniment, advocacy re legal, housing, job training and placement, financial and medical needs. The shelter program also utilizes family-based interventions, working with women and their children together as a family unit to strengthen families in crisis and break the intergenerational cycle of violence. Our collaborative model supports mothers in providing positive and developmentally enriching experiences for their children through mother/child playgroups; individual counseling; art and movement therapies; and day care, after-school and day camp programs. Through the Drop-In Counseling Center La Casa is able to meet the initial and ongoing needs of battered women and their children. Drop-In Counseling Center staff provide individual counseling and facilitate support groups for women who have left the shelter but wish to continue their counseling sessions and women who are not seeking emergency shelter, but who wish to address the impact of domestic violence on their lives. Child-centered clinical counseling is also available through La Casa’s Intern Program and in collaboration with San Francisco General Hospital’s nationally-reknowned Child Trauma Research Project. In addition, resource advocacy, referrals, emergency food and clothing are available. The Safe Havens Project, a collaboration with the San Francisco Unified Family Court and Saint Francis Memorial Hospital’s Rally Visitation Program, enables La Casa to address the needs of domestic violence victims as they develop and implement custody arrangements with their batterers. La Casa’s Advocate assists survivors in realizing shared custody and visitation schedules, where they are ordered by the Court, that prioritize the parent and children’s safety while providing support navigating what can be an intimidating and punitive system. La Casa’s Teen Program provides adolescent-appropriate intervention and prevention services to battered and at-risk youth and their children/siblings. Using La Casa's basic service model, counselors assist each teen client with individual counseling, support groups, court and social service accompaniment, advocacy regarding legal, housing, financial and medical needs, and referrals for job training and placement. Our Teen Advocates are available at our Drop-In Counseling Center and also hold counseling hours at nine (9) San Francisco high schools to facilitate support for adolescents. Interaction focuses on helping teens recognize potentially abusive relationships, better understand what creates a healthy relationship, and gain an understanding of how the "Cycle of Violence" may apply to their lives. La Casa's on-site Case Management Programs support up to 158 residents of two single women’s transitional/permanent housing facilities in the Tenderloin—the Mary Elizabeth Inn and Verona Hotel. Offering housing stability and emotional support services, the case managers provides advocacy, counseling and referrals to help formerly homeless residents sustain independent housing, build skills and community, and continue to move through the healing process, while building permanently violence free lives. The Safe Housing Project is working to empower residents of San Francisco’s permanent supportive housing sites to create communities that foster and demand violence free lives. Originating from the San Francisco Family Supportive Housing Network member sites’ articulated need to systematically address domestic violence, the program brings La Casa’s expertise onsite—through widespread outreach, staff and resident education, community-building efforts, site-specific direct service designs and relevant policy review and advocacy—to raise awareness of abuse, its effects and alternatives, provide tailored support, and help residents build a community, from within, that does not tolerate violence. An integral adjunct to our direct services, La Casa’s Community Education and Outreach Program provides outreach to media, schools, corporations and community groups. Program activities seek to prevent domestic violence among teens and adults, give voice to silenced victims of domestic violence, and motivate social change through community education and public awareness.

Community Stories

86 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been a volunteer with La Casa de las Madres for years and am still overwhelmed but the compassion and energy exhibited by everyone involved with this organization. Their approach is multi-faceted- offering immediate and continued support to empower survivors of domestic violence, while continuously reaching out to the community with innovative methods to educate and prevent the cycle of violence. There is a tremendous need for these services in our community and La Casa's is commitment is commendable.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered with Casa De Las Madres. They provide a very important service for the community with counseling and support, as well as the drop in center and shelter. They are also a strong voice and advocate for many who feel that they are unable to speak up. The staff and volunteers are extremely helpful, knowledgeable and supportive.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered on the event committee with La Casa — this is a group of extremely hard-working and dedicated people who are truly passionate about the mission of the organization. Not only do they provide a service for a real need in San Francisco, they have also become a strong, powerful voice in the community raising awareness about an issue that is too often put in the dark.

2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am a current employee at La Casa de las Madres and I have been with the organization for 7 months. I started my journey in the nonprofit sector in hope of creating positive change at scale and that is exactly what La Casa is doing today.

I stand with La Casa because I am passionate and determined to make a difference in peoples lives - today - tomorrow - and for future generations. I believe in La Casa's mission and I too envision a society where violence is not tolerated and all individuals and families have equal access to basic resources and a safe place to call home.

I enjoy working with my team, I feel motivated and inspired every day. In my current position I have the opportunity to create awareness, educate, and inspire others to make a difference. I look forward to the future and I am excited to see La Casa grow in years to come.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I began participating in La Casa’s events several years ago and grew inspired to volunteer after seeing their community impact and meeting so many wonderful people. La Casa is an indispensable advocate, motivating themselves and others to help continue the ongoing expansion and improvement of essential services.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered with La Casa for over a year now and have found the work to be incredibly fulfilling. The people I have met, (employees, volunteers & clients) are incredibly kind, generous and inspiring. I especially recommend the 40-hour training that La Casa provides - it was both informative and engaging.
I look forward to working further with this amazing organization.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Just last night, a woman approached me asking for money - in San Francisco this happens all the time. What stood out to me is what she was asking for, she needed $40 to get to a woman's shelter in San Mateo, because La Casa was full. This broke my heart, when a woman gets the courage to finally say ENOUGH and get out of a bad situation, she should not have to go to another city to get help. This is why I volunteer with La Casa De Las Madres, so we can raise enough money to open up more beds in the shelter and get help to women and families when needed.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

La Casa has had a tremendous impact on the San Francisco community thanks to their holistic approach (advocacy, community education, shelter services, and survivor resources) and stellar leadership. They very effectively allocate their resources, operating with a streamlined staff, focusing on critical needs, and working with committed and well-trained volunteers when possible. I’m proud to have worked with their organization in various capacities for nearly ten years (donor, volunteer, Steering Committee member) and am excited to continue to support them in the future.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I'm a volunteer with La Casa and I can't say enough about this wonderful organization. La Casa doesn't merely raise awareness for their cause, they actually provide services and effect real change in their community. As a volunteer, I hear survivor stories all the time and have seen first-hand the type of invaluable help La Casa provides -- from their hotline, to their shelter, to their work with schools, the police, and San Francisco in general -- they are an essential organization to the SF Bay Area. They care deeply about their clients and do such an amazing job providing them with services. I'm honored to work with them!

2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

La Casa has been a wonderful place to work. I feel inspired by my colleagues and have the ability to explore my interests in the work place while doing meaningful work that I am passionate about. Staff is welcoming, patient and compassionate. I am lucky to work with such smart, kind people.

2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

La Casa De Las Madres supports women in crisis, need, or transition. The crisis hotline helps. The safe housing provides a solution to issues that arise through broken homes, IPV, and or the streets.

3

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have been employed with La Casa for some time now. The entire staff are hard working individuals who truly believe in the mission and work that is done throughout the community. As a employee, I feel appreciated by management, who go above and beyond to support the staff.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer for La Casa for almost a year now and have loved being involved with their life-changing work. The 40-hour volunteer training is incredibly thorough, informative, and inspiring. I also really appreciated how open all the leaders were to feedback about the structure of the training. I have volunteered at the shelter, the drop-in center, and several events (where I represented La Casa). I have felt valued and heard as staff are sensitive to my interests and desires when they send me volunteer needs. However, most importantly, I feel like I am able to help La Casa fulfill its mission during my volunteering and I feel like all the staff have welcomed me in with open arms. Being able to help in a real way has been incredible! This is a judgement free place where staff are really dedicated to ending domestic violence!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Last year before I started volunteering for La Casa De Las Madres I took the DV training that they offer. I have learned enormous amount of information from different fields related to domestic violence. Now I am happy to volunteer at the events representing La Casa De Las Madres and their services. I have closely been working with Kara Duggan and Andrea Diaz all that time. They both are wonderful! They have been supporting me and helping me tremendously.
La Casa De Las Madres is GREAT!!!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I started volunteering with La Casa in February, after moving to San Francisco six months prior. The training was comprehensive, and a wonderful introduction to services, resources, and non-profits throughout the city. It helped me to connect to a new urban landscape and commit to helping to make positive change. Working at the shelter has been incredibly uplifting - the opportunity to work and play with these women and their families has been joyful and heart-warming. It's a privilege and a pleasure to volunteer with La Casa.

4

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I came to La Casa after working for 2 years as a volunteer at the emergency shelter. I enjoyed my volunteer experience so much that I chose to commit myself full-time to the work of La Casa. I have consistently been impressed by the unrelenting focus of the organization on eliminating domestic violence in the Bay Area.

As both an employee and volunteer, I have always felt respected, well-managed and challenged…

5

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

La Casa has a rich history of advocating and assisting domestic violence survivors in our community. I am proud to work for an organization that continues to strive towards a violence-free future.

I have worked for La Casa for almost 3 years. During my time here I have advanced professionally and continue to learn and be challenged. La Casa continues to support my development in the field and acknowledge my contribution to the team. I appreciate immensely the team-work mentality. I have felt supported and nurtured by all staff, including the management team.

4

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

La Casa de las Madres is a great place to work. In my time at La Casa I have been continuously supported by the Executive Director as well as the management team. In fact, the entire staff works collaboratively and effectively to ensure success of this program. I continue to see my own growth as well as the growth of other employees with all the training and development opportunities we are given. I know my continued work at La Casa is not only appreciated and acknowledged by managers and directors, but also the community served.

12

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 1

La Casa has a wonderful history in the community of helping domestic violence survivor women and children. The employees are passionate about the work they do.

There is an excessive amount of turnover for a reason, and it is easy to understand why there are lawsuits against this organization.

The value of any given employee's expertise and skills is of no relevance or interest to management. Over-bearing micromanagement does not make space for employees to serve the clients the mission sets out to assist. Experts in their field, the passionate employees of La Casa are not trusted to perform their job functions by the ED, who walks through the office each day muttering put downs and setting the office tone of tension and fear. The Associate Director reorganizes the development associates desk while they are trying to perform their job functions, and criticizes what and how most phone calls are handled, so that 4 people have held the position within year's time. The most recently 'promoted' Program Manager has insufficient experience to perform the work the position requires. She makes inappropriate comments about crashing employees weddings, complains most days of being tired and leaves early, though she doesn't appear to work most of the day, and rather than scheduling content related to the La Casa mission for staff meetings, has a food pantry coming for 6 hour and half sessions to make food since she like to eat.

Volunteers are considered warm bodies to patch the holes left with so much employee turnover, and there is utterly no appreciation for their dedication and time .

A solution to the ongoing crisis at the agency with the oldest domestic violence shelter in California would be to clean house, starting from the top. The governing board really needs to consider seriously the employment turnover and examine carefully what is happening inside the organization domestic violence survivors think of when they need help, and further, consider how these clients' needs are being met when the staff and volunteers are disregarded so frivolously. This 40 year old organization will quickly crumble if new leadership and organizational restructuring is not implemented soon.

Review from Guidestar

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

We were evicted from our home in July and I am in desperate need of help to find a place for my family and i